Podcast Episode 2 // A Process for Becoming an Authority in Your Domain

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Suc­cess isn’t always about great­ness. It’s about con­sis­ten­cy. Con­sis­tent hard work leads to suc­cess. Great­ness will come.”
-Dwayne “the Rock” John­son

Branding is Leadership, Directed toward a Purpose

Con­ssis­ten­cy; it’s what great brands do. They make promis­es based on who they are and what they can back up. This is called “integri­ty.” But brand­ing is strate­gic. In oth­er words, it’s lead­er­ship, direct­ed toward a pur­pose.

Lead­er­ship requires plan­ning and process, not just good inten­tions. This is where many brands fail: putting promis­es before integri­ty. But where’s the bal­ance? When do you start talk­ing about your point of view, so you’re mak­ing your cus­tomers want you and see you as the only option because of how well-devel­oped your point of view is?

So how do you brand a pur­suit (com­pa­ny, org, what­ev­er), putting up some sub­stance, and then cre­at­ing the look and feel that rep­re­sents the actu­al promise? I’m about to show you one way a brand is doing that, with more specifics than I’ve ever heard on the top­ic.

Turn Your Business into a Book

Write the book.

Writ­ing a book sounds like a big under­tak­ing. But if you have a process that’s doable and reli­able, it’s not so bad. You just have to be able to do a lit­tle strat­e­gy on the process.

I have one client that’s tak­ing this seri­ous­ly. They’re a new com­pa­ny who wants to be known in an indus­try for a par­tic­u­lar lead­er­ship point of view. So they’re writ­ing a book.

But isn’t that overkill? It might seem so, but not if you have a process. Because when you’re orga­nized, every­thing is less work, not more.

How Most Companies Create Content

Most peo­ple start with an oppor­tunis­tic, top-down method. What­ev­er they’re inspired by, that’s what they write about. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, this isn’t sus­tain­able, since the method only works until you see anoth­er shiny object. Nonethe­less, here’s how it works when you sus­tain the process:

  1. Nor­mal­ly, you start with a blog, because it’s eas­i­est. You obsess over key­words and hire SEO peo­ple and try to rank to catch up with the peo­ple in your indus­try, doing all the best prac­tices.
  2. Then you see if you can find ways to mon­e­tize the blog, sell­ing things that might make sense to the audi­ence through your blog or site.
  3. Then you do a mail­ing list with pro­mo­tions.
  4. Then, to give it a per­son­al feel, you might do a pod­cast or video.
  5. Then you might even think about doing some train­ing that you’ll even­tu­al­ly get paid for.

Doing it Strategically

As much as I love iter­a­tive approach­es, there’s bot­tom-up “iter­a­tive,” (what we just talked about) and then there’s “top-down” iter­a­tive. We’re gonna do top-down and con­sid­er the big pic­ture. Here’s what that looks like.

Write the Book

  1. Define the prob­lem. Do you want a process that will make you an author­i­ty on a top­ic? Under­stand the prob­lem bet­ter than any­one else. Take a point of view. Then write a book. Here’s what I mean.
  2. Which becomes a deep, inter­est­ing, help­ful solu­tion.
  3. Which becomes a list of steps
  4. Which becomes a table of con­tents.
  5. Which becomes a pub­lish­ing sched­ule (for blog, pod­cast, what­ev­er).
  6. Which becomes a pod­cast with show notes
  7. Which becomes a blog post.
  8. Which becomes a book top­ic
  9. Which become chap­ters
  10. Which become sec­tions
  11. Which become your Book.

Lead Through Distractions with a Process

Prop­er­ly under­stood, brand­ing is lead­er­ship, direct­ed toward a prob­lem. And when you’re try­ing to focus your lead­er­ship on a prob­lem amidst a world full of dis­trac­tions and oppor­tu­ni­ties that will weak­en your direc­tion, you need a plan. And that plan must be doable, not just ide­al. This process makes the right kind of brand­ing pos­si­ble for any­one. It just needs your focus.

If you’ve enjoyed this post, and you want to learn more about stand­ing up a brand in your own orga­ni­za­tion using the brand hack­ing method, which is keep­ing it sim­ple and iter­at­ing quick­ly, then let’s talk.

Bio: I’m Chris Stadler, and I’ve been watch­ing, work­ing, study­ing and con­sult­ing for brands since 2004. I will show you how to right-size your promis­es so that they’re promis­es you can keep. Because it’s not the expen­sive brand­ing agen­cies that make great brands; they’re just the dec­o­ra­tors. It’s your lead­er­ship and integri­ty that make it all work. But it takes process.